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Norway Pull Out Affects Rural Electrification in Zanzibar

TOMRIC News Agency (Dar es Salaam), 14 July 2000

Zanzibar - Plans by the government of Isles to supply electricity in the rural areas have been foiled after the government of Norway decided to pull out for political reasons following the 1995 elections.

This was disclosed here by Deputy Minister for Energy and Resources, Juma Matogo.

"The government is looking for alternative funding for its rural electrification after the government of Norway pulled out of the project following the 1995 elections," he said. He said Zanzibar in collaboration with the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD), has carried out the rural electrification project in phases since 1985.

The project, according to him, was scheduled to be completed by 1997, but the program stopped after Norway pulled out. Several donor-projects in Zanzibar have been died following the on-going political crisis between the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) and Civic United Front (CUF).

Another project which have stopped on similar reasons is a rehabilitation of the port of Malindi. The project was to be financed by the European Union (EU).

The 15 national EU withdrew assistance for the rehabilitation of the port because of the Isles political impasse since the 1995 general elections.

Not only on political grounds but financial institutions have also refuted to provide funds after Zanzibar failed to implement their policies. The African Development Bank (ADB) had decided to suspend a 12 million US dollars loan for water project to the government of

Zanzibar pending re-introduction of water charges. The ADB assistance was expected to cover nine rural water supply schemes and serve over 130,000 residents by next year. The government scrapped water fees for domestic consumers in 1981, he said.